The Human Trajectory Toward Imminent Self-Destruction - The Dark Side of Technology

 
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29 May 2017 12:28
 

Will humanity’s moral evolution come too late as weapons of mass destruction become widespread, readily available, fit in a pocket?  No such thing as moral evolution?  We are the same species as the perpetrators of the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Mai Lai, 9/11 and this week’s atrocities?

 
 
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31 May 2017 11:39
 

copied from a related topic:

Jan_CAN - 07 November 2016 03:08 PM

I think the fact that we ask these kinds of questions means something.

In regards to cruelty in general, modern humans cause suffering to our own kind on a scale our ancestors could not have imagined.

 
 
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31 May 2017 17:42
 
unsmoked - 29 May 2017 12:28 PM

Will humanity’s moral evolution come too late as weapons of mass destruction become widespread, readily available, fit in a pocket?  No such thing as moral evolution?  We are the same species as the perpetrators of the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Mai Lai, 9/11 and this week’s atrocities?

As a species, we seem to be hell-bent on self-destruction.  If somehow our world became more secular, it would be a step in the right direction.  Our technological advances that have enabled us to destroy ourselves have progressed faster than our social/cultural advances.  It is in our nature.  We seem to value our individuality too much to give priority to survival of our species.  However, sometimes when you see the truly good in people, it seems that there might be cause for hope.

If we ever genetically engineer humans, instead of selecting for strength or intelligence, perhaps we should incorporate DNA from a species in which the group is all-important (e.g. bees, budgies). 

 

 
 
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15 June 2017 15:00
 
unsmoked - 29 May 2017 12:28 PM

Will humanity’s moral evolution come too late as weapons of mass destruction become widespread, readily available, fit in a pocket?

Humanity’s moral evolution had already come too late when the US and the Soviets started arming people of barbaric cultures with modern weapons.  To say that is throwing accelerant on a fire is quite an understatement - that is starting new fires on patches of land already soaked with accelerant, and then pouring accelerant on that fire with a squad of helicopters until the helicopters themselves incinerate from the flames.

The ability to create power imbalance in the world is the ultimate opportunity for power grabbers.  We’ve never been in a time with more ability to create more imbalance of power in more regions of the world, both internationally AND within each nation.  If we had entered this time period with a greater balance of power (globally or at least within the most prosperous nations), things would not be moving so quickly for the worse.

This has been happening financially and militarily for many decades now - if I am to consider myself a realist, I must accept there is very little chance of a happy future long-term for humanity, perhaps even within my lifetime (25 now).

[ Edited: 30 June 2017 20:11 by Quadrewple]
 
 
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26 October 2018 10:36
 
Quadrewple - 15 June 2017 03:00 PM
unsmoked - 29 May 2017 12:28 PM

Will humanity’s moral evolution come too late as weapons of mass destruction become widespread, readily available, fit in a pocket?

Humanity’s moral evolution had already come too late when the US and the Soviets started arming people of barbaric cultures with modern weapons.  To say that is throwing accelerant on a fire is quite an understatement - that is starting new fires on patches of land already soaked with accelerant, and then pouring accelerant on that fire with a squad of helicopters until the helicopters themselves incinerate from the flames.

The ability to create power imbalance in the world is the ultimate opportunity for power grabbers.  We’ve never been in a time with more ability to create more imbalance of power in more regions of the world, both internationally AND within each nation.  If we had entered this time period with a greater balance of power (globally or at least within the most prosperous nations), things would not be moving so quickly for the worse.

This has been happening financially and militarily for many decades now - if I am to consider myself a realist, I must accept there is very little chance of a happy future long-term for humanity, perhaps even within my lifetime (25 now).

(quote)  “The more eastern regions of Asia were populated by Homo erectus, ‘Upright Man’, who survived there for close to 2 million years, making it the most durable human species ever.  This record is unlikely to be broken even by our own species.  It is doubtful whether Homo sapiens will still be around a thousand years from now, so 2 million years is really out of our league.”  -  (from ‘SAPIENS - A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari)

In a more recent topic on the subject of our Moral Landscape, I was questioning if our ‘moral evolution’ had come at all.  If anything, it seems we have slipped horribly from the days when hunter/gatherers ‘thanked’ their prey animals for giving up their life for the hunter’s survival.  (perhaps related to Christians saying ‘Grace’ at the dinner table).

But I can imagine a Christian family that has a dog and a cat and regularly says ‘Grace’ at dinner time, gives no thought at all to the factory farms where their beef, pork, chicken etc. came from.  They never imagine cats and dogs being raised in the same conditions as factory farmed animals.  They never imagine people being raised in those conditions.  Factory Farms are part of ‘The Dark Side of Technology’ - separation from nature, a complete lack of empathy for other animals, careless destruction of the environment for one’s own comfort and profit.

How many U.S. kindergarten teachers would dare show this video and discuss it with their class?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ-IUWOOUfY

 

[ Edited: 26 October 2018 11:12 by unsmoked]
 
 
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26 October 2018 13:40
 
unsmoked - 26 October 2018 10:36 AM

...
In a more recent topic on the subject of our Moral Landscape, I was questioning if our ‘moral evolution’ had come at all.  If anything, it seems we have slipped horribly from the days when hunter/gatherers ‘thanked’ their prey animals for giving up their life for the hunter’s survival.  (perhaps related to Christians saying ‘Grace’ at the dinner table).

But I can imagine a Christian family that has a dog and a cat and regularly says ‘Grace’ at dinner time, gives no thought at all to the factory farms where their beef, pork, chicken etc. came from.  They never imagine cats and dogs being raised in the same conditions as factory farmed animals.  They never imagine people being raised in those conditions.  Factory Farms are part of ‘The Dark Side of Technology’ - separation from nature, a complete lack of empathy for other animals, careless destruction of the environment for one’s own comfort and profit.

How many U.S. kindergarten teachers would dare show this video and discuss it with their class?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ-IUWOOUfY

I can’t bear to watch videos such as these and only watched about five seconds of this one.  It’s deplorable how some animals are treated.  Vegetarianism is one answer, but many of us find such a diet difficult to follow and accept that humans are omnivores that are generally healthier if some meat is included in the diet.  However, all farm animals should be housed and dispatched of humanely. 

Hopefully more awareness and videos such as these will cause consumers to demand a halt to these practises and bring about increased regulations.  For example, where I live free-range eggs are now readily available in most grocery stores and a law passed that phased out battery cages, thanks to public concern and the work of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS).  So changes can happen, but I think we could all do more by our choices and in support of such organizations.

 

 
 
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03 November 2018 11:21
 
Jan_CAN - 26 October 2018 01:40 PM
unsmoked - 26 October 2018 10:36 AM

...
In a more recent topic on the subject of our Moral Landscape, I was questioning if our ‘moral evolution’ had come at all.  If anything, it seems we have slipped horribly from the days when hunter/gatherers ‘thanked’ their prey animals for giving up their life for the hunter’s survival.  (perhaps related to Christians saying ‘Grace’ at the dinner table).

But I can imagine a Christian family that has a dog and a cat and regularly says ‘Grace’ at dinner time, gives no thought at all to the factory farms where their beef, pork, chicken etc. came from.  They never imagine cats and dogs being raised in the same conditions as factory farmed animals.  They never imagine people being raised in those conditions.  Factory Farms are part of ‘The Dark Side of Technology’ - separation from nature, a complete lack of empathy for other animals, careless destruction of the environment for one’s own comfort and profit.

How many U.S. kindergarten teachers would dare show this video and discuss it with their class?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ-IUWOOUfY

I can’t bear to watch videos such as these and only watched about five seconds of this one.  It’s deplorable how some animals are treated.  Vegetarianism is one answer, but many of us find such a diet difficult to follow and accept that humans are omnivores that are generally healthier if some meat is included in the diet.  However, all farm animals should be housed and dispatched of humanely. 

Hopefully more awareness and videos such as these will cause consumers to demand a halt to these practises and bring about increased regulations.  For example, where I live free-range eggs are now readily available in most grocery stores and a law passed that phased out battery cages, thanks to public concern and the work of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS).  So changes can happen, but I think we could all do more by our choices and in support of such organizations.

I wonder if PBS, or social studies classes in public schools ever show TED talks like this?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2pMlY2sJts

Does it seem strange that religions don’t speak to their members about cruelty on factory farms?  Typical parents get alarmed if their child is cruel to animals, yet they buy meat from factory farms without any qualms. 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qualm

[ Edited: 04 November 2018 11:44 by unsmoked]
 
 
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03 November 2018 12:16
 
unsmoked - 03 November 2018 11:21 AM

I wonder if PBS, or social studies classes in public schools ever show TED talks like this?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2pMlY2sJts

Does it seem strange that religions don’t don’t speak to their members about cruelty on factory farms?  Typical parents get alarmed if their child is cruel to animals, yet they buy meat from factory farms without any qualms. 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qualm

I think a lot of us are more comfortable in remaining ignorant of such cruelty so we can still enjoy our steak without too much guilt.  We don’t have any direct and immediate control of the treatment of farm animals, so prefer not to know.  If and when there are choices, we’d make the better one, but it’s not always available, at least not yet.  So I commend people who are doing something to change this.

 
 
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04 November 2018 00:36
 

It wasn’t MAD that prevented nuclear war in the last century, it was the Space Race: a global goal that could focus attention and investment, economically, politically and popular.

Properly done the fight against Climate change could serve the same goal.

 
 
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04 November 2018 12:29
 
Twissel - 04 November 2018 12:36 AM

It wasn’t MAD that prevented nuclear war in the last century, it was the Space Race: a global goal that could focus attention and investment, economically, politically and popular.

Properly done the fight against Climate change could serve the same goal.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/18/what-the-world-thinks-about-climate-change-in-7-charts/

Looking at these charts, can we come up with a new definition for MAD (instead of Mutually Assured Destruction)  Or, a new acronym for the global warming crisis?

Does chart number 7 at this Pew Research site offer a clue for a new acronym?

quote:  “7.  Americans’ views about climate issues divide sharply along partisan lines. The polarization that characterizes U.S. public opinion on so many issues is especially stark on climate change. Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to consider it a very serious problem, believe its effects are being felt now, think it will harm them personally, and support U.S. participation in an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions.”  (end quote)

There must be many Republicans who own valuable beachfront property that will be flooded, and valuable ranches, orchards and farms that will be ruined by drought.  What explains their lack of concern?  Religion?  Disrespect for science?

 
 
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05 November 2018 01:47
 

The key issue in contemporary US politics is that ANY issue is instantly branded as partisan, even when it isn’t: Universal Healthcare and Income, Environmentalism and a focus on Education have traditionally, if anything, been Conservative, not Progressive, hobbyhorses.

For me, a good explanation for this can be found in the effort of both parties to prevent new parties from becoming established. Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics has an interesting Podcast episode on this:
http://freakonomics.com/podcast/politics-industry/

What we will need is an electoral system that doesn’t reward pandering to the extremes and neglecting the moderates. Maine’s ‘Instant run-off’ election might serve as a template if it works out and Democrats take enough Governships.

 
 
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07 November 2018 12:03
 
Quadrewple - 15 June 2017 03:00 PM

If I am to consider myself a realist, I must accept there is very little chance of a happy future long-term for humanity, perhaps even within my lifetime (25 now).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UGsRcxaSAI  (what we’ve known for decades - ‘Before the Flood’ - movie trailer)